When we think of the early 1900s, we tend to imagine a time of etiquette, refinement, and some pretty amazing fashion. And that’s all true!
The early 1900s were also a time of rapidly changing technology and lifestyles, with the advents of electricity, automobiles, and skyscrapers. It was also a time of sweeping social reforms with updates in sanitation laws, medicine, and labor.
But while celebrating the past is great, there were, of course, less-than-pleasant aspects of it.
While the early 1900s brought us charming traditions like outdoor classrooms to give kids a love of nature, they also had a seedier element. We’re talking about criminals, of course.
However, with the advent of photography in the 1800s and advancing technology making it more available, a new tradition was starting in police stations — the mug shot.
Today, seeing the glum face of someone who’s been arrested is pretty common on the news, but prior to cameras, it was impossible to have a record of a criminal’s appearance with the exception of sketch artists.
The Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums recently released a collection of mug shots from the very early 1900s, featuring a collection of female criminals, mainly arrested for petty theft.
Though we don’t have much information on these women, their police photos are fascinating, and you can’t help but wonder what their stories were, and what drove them to criminal acts.
Check them out below, and if you happen to know anything about the photos, drop us a line!